Chevy cuts Volt $5,000 to charge sales

2014 Chevrolet Volt

2014 Chevrolet Volt

BY GERRY MILES

Think of it as a $5,000 VAT Rebate. From Chevy. And General Motors.

Because, they say, so many owners are so satisfied with the Chevy Volt, GM is cutting the price $5,000 to $34,995 (which includes the $810 destination fee) for the 2014 model year.

If you now figure in the federal tax credits, which range up to $7,500 reflective of your income tax range, the Volt could cost as little as $27,495.

Chevy, naturally, says the downturn in price results from the aggregated knowledge base from producing the Volt, making things better, faster, cheaper and the like. Others say it’s due to slow sales and the value-added pitch is just that…an advertising ploy.

“We have made great strides in reducing costs as we gain experience with electric vehicles and their components,” Don Johnson, U.S. vice president, Chevrolet sales and service. “In fact, the Volt has seen an increase in battery range and the addition of creature comforts, such as a leather-wrapped steering wheel and MyLink, since its launch in 2010.”

Chevy’s Volt lags in sales with the Nissan Leaf, which dropped its price earlier in the year and outpaces the GM product, as Nicole Wakelin wrote earlier this year.

Volt owners who charge their car regularly typically drive 900 miles between fill-ups and visit the gas station about once a month. The 2014 Volt will continue to provide owners with impressive fuel economy of 98 MPGe (electric) and 35 city/40 highway on gasoline power without any need to change their daily driving habits while saving $900 in annual fuel costs. Chevy claims Volt owners have logged 364 million miles, including 225 million electric miles in their famed plug-in.

Chevy proudly crows over 70 percent of its buyers are conquest buyers – or new to GM – and they add, not surprisingly – Chevy’s PR words not mine – the Prius is the most commonly traded vehicle for a Volt. That is surprising because the Volt is much smaller in person than it appears in pictures, has less backseat and hatch space than a Prius. Perhaps folks don’t care about versatility and opt for only the mpgs. Who knew?

The Gold Coast is not surprisingly (my words) Volt’s largest market. Volt’s low emissions earn it a “sticker” for single-occupancy HOV lane access in California and New York.

The Chevrolet Volt allows gas-free driving for an EPA-estimated 38 miles, depending on terrain, driving techniques and temperature. The range-extending engine gives the Volt up to 380 total miles of total driving range.

Oh yeah: here’s the value part that’s hidden at the bottom of the PR sheet: Volt will come in 2 new colors: Ashen Gray Metallic and Brownstowne Metallic. And don’t overlook the leather-wrapped steering wheel.

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Toyota statement re: Collaboration with Ford, Commitment to Hybrids

Toyota and Ford have completed their feasibility study for collaboration on the development of a new hybrid system for light trucks and SUVs, which was first announced in August of 2011.  As a result, we have agreed to develop hybrid systems individually.  Toyota and Ford continue to evaluate the feasibility of working together on next-generation standards for telematics and will consider other areas for future collaboration as well.

Toyota’s commitment to hybrid technology is unwavering.  We have sold over two million Toyota and Lexus hybrid vehicles in the U.S., representing 70 percent of the U.S. auto industry’s total hybrid sales, and over 5 million hybrids worldwide.  In addition, Toyota remains on track to offer 18 new or redesigned hybrid models globally by the end of 2015.

All told, Toyota estimates that its global fleet of nearly 20 hybrid vehicles (12 available in the United States) has resulted in approximately 34 million fewer tons of CO2 emissions than those emitted by gasoline-powered vehicles, and have saved their owners more than 3 billion gallons of gasoline.